There may be a glimmer of hope Rosyth Waterfront’s £500 million redevelopment is not dead in the water.
It was feared plans to see homes, businesses, shops and leisure facilities co-exist had been sunk after the Scottish Government Reporter examining the long-anticipated FIFEplan recommended it should be zoned for employment only.
But now as FIFEplan reaches the final steps in its preparation, Scottish Ministers have told Fife Council it should introduce two modifications – relating to the waterfront and the controversial Cupar North development – before it is adopted as the kingdom’s local development plan.
The Rosyth modification is a reflection of the council’s submission to the Reporter to prepare an investment framework to support the regeneration of the waterfront.
This will allow it to assess the “best use” of this nationally important economic asset, and ensure co-ordination of development on different sites at the strategic location of the Rosyth Waterfront.
Recommending these be accepted, planning head Robin Presswood said Scottish Ministers directed these changes to ensure the delivery of FIFEplan.
“These will clear the way for the plan to be adopted and form part of the development plan for Fife.”
The site, which could bring 5,000 jobs, has been controversial.
When news emerged the site was earmarked only for industrial use it led to accusations from developers the Scarborough Muir Group that Fife Council planners had disregarded the desires of landowners, community and local councillors aiming for a mixed use site.
In retaliation the local authority pointed out its submission to the Reporter had stated the site’s importance nationally and that as it had long stagnated it was appropriate to consider opportunities for a broader range of uses for the site.
Local MP Douglas Chapman said: “To my mind, this is what Fife Council’s south west area committee has been pressing for over the past three years – an investment plan that makes the most of the resource that is Rosyth Waterfront and which underpins future development of the site.”
He hoped developers, councillors and the Scottish Government could now realise the full jobs potential Rosyth Waterfront can provide.
Having no indication about changes to FIFEplan, SMG’s William McAllister said: “We would welcome any flexibility to the current FIFEplan, which would allow us to develop a broad mixed-use masterplan which we believe this excellent location deserves, and will be in discussion with Fife Council to discuss what impact any amendments may have on our vision for this area.”